Justin Trudeau’s Win Ceases Reign of Stephen Harper and His Flying Monkeys

+ Last night, Liberal candidate Justin Trudeau was elected as Canada’s next Prime Minister, denying incumbent PM Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party a fourth term. Harper has been in power since February 2006. The Liberal party now holds 184 seats, making for a majority government, while the Conservatives have only 99. The New Democratic Party, farther left than the Liberal Party, now holds only 41 seats. Trudeau — who is the son of another former PM, Pierre Elliott Trudeau — campaigned on a pro-choice platform based around increased infrastructure spending, legalizing marijuana, raising taxes on the rich, voting reform, and supporting refugees. He’s also indicated that he may repeal Bill C-36, a law which many Canadian sex workers say puts them in danger, although it’s not clear what it would be replaced with. Trudeau won’t take office as PM for a few more weeks.

+ Zella Zoina, a black transgender woman, was shot and killed in Gaithersburg, Maryland Thursday evening. She was found in an alley between the Montgomery Village Plaza and the Montgomery Village Crossing shopping centers. A witness, interviewed by a local TV news station, claims to have seen Ziona in an argument with a group of young people before one of them pulled out a gun and shot her. On Saturday, police arrested 21-year-old Rico Hector Leblond and charged him with first degree murder of Zoina. Police records say Leblond shot Zoina multiple times because she embarrassed him by acting in a “flamboyant” matter toward him in front of his friends. Ziona is the 21st trans woman to be murdered in 2015.


+ A Texas judge has decided to allow Texas health officials to continue to deny birth certificates to children born to undocumented immigrant parents. U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman denied an emergency injunction petitioned by a group of immigrant families who filed the lawsuit in May. Before 2013, Mexican immigrants could present ID cards issued by Mexican consulates to citizens living and working in the U.S. or use their foreign passports to obtain birth certificates in the state. However, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) does not accept these identification forms any longer. The families’ lawyer argued that not issuing birth certificates infringes on the rights of the children to health care and education and makes traveling, childcare and even things like baptism difficult to do. Judge Pitman thought the evidence the plaintiffs brought “raises grave concerns regarding the treatment of citizen children born to immigrant parents” but there wasn’t enough evidence in the case to grant an injunction. The case will continue to trial.

+ Corey Jones, a 31-year-old black man, was shot and killed by a Palm Beach Gardens police officer after Jones’ vehicle broke down after 3 a.m. on Sunday morning. He was driving home after playing drums at a gig with his band the Future Prezidents. Officer Nouman Raja, who was in an unmarked car and wearing plainclothes, stopped to investigate Jones’ vehicle thinking it was abandoned. According to authorities, Raja got out of his car and was confronted by Jones who was armed with an unspecified weapon. As a result of the confrontation, Raja discharged his firearm, killing Jones. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is investigating and the officer has been placed on paid administrative leave.


Corey Jones

+ Milwaukee Bucks player John Henson said he was racially profiled at a jewelry store in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. He claims the employees locked the door when he arrived and called the police on him. He detailed what happened to him on Instagram:


Thomas Dixon, the owner of the jewelry store, told a local news station it was all a misunderstanding — the store was not wary of Henson, but was alarmed because of his car. They’ve had a string of robberies in the last year and one of the suspects’ vehicles is from the same dealership as Henson’s car.

+ Anti-choicers — like David Daleiden, the dude behind the Planned Parenthood videos — are increasingly coming out in favor of gay people. He closed his speech at a far-right conference arguing that “the equal protection of the law should extend to all members of the human family, old or young, black or white, able or disabled, gay or straight, born or unborn — those are the values of human dignity and human equality that should be reflected in our laws, our lawmakers, and our law enforcement.”

+ Opponents of Houston’s non-discrimination ordinance (which will be voted on November 3rd) aired an outrageously deceptive ad that targets trans women. Although the ordinance would protect “sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, or pregnancy” from discrimination in all sectors if passed, a group called Campaign for Houston is targeting gender identity and calling this the “bathroom ordinance.” In a super misinformed ad they state: “Any man at any time could enter a woman’s bathroom at any time simply by claiming to be a woman that day. No one is exempt, even registered sex offenders could follow women or young girls into the bathroom and if a business tried to stop them they’d be fined. Protect women’s privacy. Prevent danger. Vote “no” on the Proposition 1 “bathroom ordinance.” It goes too far.” We know these are outright lies but it seems many Houstonians are believing them. Houston Texans owner Bob McNair donated $10,000 to Campaign for Houston.

+ Within the last 10 days, five black churches in the St. Louis area were set on fire, most likely by arsonists. “It is arson,” St. Louis Fire Captain Garon Mosby told Fox2 Now in St. Louis. “These are being intentionally set. This is not spontaneous combustion, so they are not occurring on their own.” All five churches were within 3 miles of each other. US Uncut reports:

“On October 8th, the first fire was set at the Bethel Non-Denominational Church. Between October 10th and October 14th, three more churches were burned — New Northside Missionary Baptist Church, St. Augustine Catholic Church, and the New Testament Church of Christ. In the early hours of Saturday morning, another fire was set at the New Life Missionary Baptist Church.”

These fires follow a string of fires in Black churches that happened over the summer across the South after the massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Yvonne S. Marquez is a lesbian journalist and former Autostraddle senior editor living in Dallas, TX. She writes about social justice, politics, activism and other things dear to her queer Latina heart. Yvonne was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter. Read more of her work at yvonnesmarquez.com.

Yvonne has written 205 articles for us.


  1. THANK YOU for finally acknowledging that the Canadian federal election is a thing that is important and that even Americans should be paying attention to!

    I just want to point out that while Trudeau is indeed a VAST improvement over another four years of Harper, the Liberals are a centre-left party, and they won their majority because leftist voters in Canada were so terrified of another Conservative government that they voted for the safe, centrist choice, rather than the REAL lefty party – the NDP. Trudeau made a LOT of very encouraging promises during our historically-long election, but it remains to be seen whether he will follow through on them, or whether he will drive to the right as soon as he’s sworn in.

    Specifically, a lot of lefty Canadians are concerned over Trudeau’s support of the Conservative Bill C-51, which greatly expanded the government’s powers to spy on it’s citizens, with practically zero additional oversight, as well as his support for the ridiculously-named “Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act”, which increased criminal penalties things like honour killings and polygamy, and which is completely unnecessary and completely based on Islamophobia and xenophobia.

    • FYI: You can probably see the American parallels without me having to point them out. Namely, people being so terrified of a Trump presidency that they vote for centrist Hillary Clinton instead of socialist Bernie Sanders, completely ignoring Hillary’s not-so-spotless record. Obviously the fact that Canada has three major parties instead of two makes things a little different, and the fear of splitting the lefty vote is a genuine one, but Americans would do well to pay attention to their northern neighbour as they look towards 2016.

      • thanks for your comments! i agree the canadian elections should have more coverage and awareness in the states, and appreciate learning more about them here. I like the idea of an open thread someone mentioned for the Canadian election results.

    • Yes, all of this. It was sooo nice to wake up to a Harper-free nation this morning, but it remains to be seen whether Justin Dudebreau has any substance beneath his flash. A majority Lib government is only a marginal improvement on our last one.

      • I am truly terrified about all of the proposed spending and the cuts to the TSFAs which I use as my rainy day/ down payment for a house fund.

        IDK, I’m very conservative when it comes to politics and economy. I guess we will see what the next four years brings.

  2. “Flying monkeys” Oh the imagery! Unfortunately Stephen Harpers influence on Canada will continue to be felt for years to come as he has stacked the appointed senate with his chosen.

    • Can’t remember if Trudeau promised he’d look at senate reform or not, but either way, it’ll come up in the next few years. In any case, we can probably assume that a good number of Harper’s cronies will be forced to leave their cushy senate seats due to scandals alone, just based on the law of averages :)

  3. Usually with Canadian news I’m like, “What is Canada!?” (Long back story to that) But today, “Hey, Canada, heeeeeeeey!”

  4. I get they are transphobic. But, fuck when I use the bathroom I want minimal interaction as possible with people. It’s already a hassle that most placed don’t offer gender-neutral facilities. So, if I am using any gendered facility last thing I want to do is stay there longer, or talk to people. But, that’s just me an angry, sad, and loving trans person. So, maybe in their delusional world that’s what occurring, I dunno.
    Also, let’s say for a second trans people were forced to use the wrong bathrooms, cause their mis-understanding things. That would mean trans men would be forced to use the women’s restroom, which means there worry of men using the women’s bathroom is occurring.

  5. While I am happy that Harper is out, I’m actually really disappointed with the Canadian election. The NDP did a fantastic job as the official opposition and had some very strong MPs taken out by voters terrified of Harper. It was really publicized as a fight between Trudeau and Harper, while Elizabeth May and Tom Mulcair tried (and failed) to keep people talking about actual issues. My main hope is that this new government brings real change to the electoral system so strategic voting systems don’t overturn the actual beliefs of the people.

    Also, I continue to be surprised the the BQ (Canada’s resident separatist party) brings in more votes than the Green party…

    • I am really bummed at all the seats the NDP lost too, especially Megan Leslie who was Halifax’s amazing feminist MP.

    • YUUUP. Me too. I live in what was Paul Dewar’s riding, and my parents live in what was Peggy Nash’s riding. Two incredible, hard-working, progressive MPs, taken out by this “Red Wave”. If Trudeau can follow through on his promises, I’ll be very happy to be proven wrong, but I’m anticipating a push to the right, eventually. And there’s still C-51 and S-7 to think about.

      In Trudeau’s speech he sort of paraphrased Jack Layton, saying “hope conquered fear” in this election, but I don’t think that was the case at all. I think people DID vote out of fear, but it wasn’t fear of ISIS, or Islam, or immigrants – they voted out of fear of Harper, and the NDP suffered for it.

      • YES! I talked to a number of people who were so terrified of another Harper government that they were fully convinced it would be the apocalypse. It felt terrible watching an election based on voting against someone rather than for something.

        One thing that I do think will help Canada in the long run is the amount of pressure being but on Trudeau to make real change. Hopefully he follows through…

    • Kristen, part of what hurt Elizabeth May and Tom Mulcair’s campaigns was that they bought into Harpers balanced budget mantras.

      Canadians have gotten wise to the politics surrounding fiscal policy in a fiat currency issuing nation.

      If the government taxes as much or more than it spends (ie has a balanced “budget” or a surplus) then there is no new net money introduced to the economy; which means there will be less available to go around.

      Labor becomes the default scapegoat when corporations have trouble earning profits due to the overall lack of spending power in the economy. This results in job and wage cuts.

      Fiat currency issuers like Canada have no insolvency risk when it comes to issuing their own currency, so one can only conclude that pushing austerity is either a purely politically motivated drive to make most people poorer or a profound misunderstanding of modern monetary theory by those in power.

      • While I agree with your points, it does make me wonder how that gained Trudeau support. He frequently contradicted his statement on the economy and how to balance the budget, such as when he criticized Harper for running a deficit then promising to do so himself. Overall, I felt that a lot of issues were mis-represented and the debates became personal vendettas. My hope is that Trudeau handles the economy differently from many previous Liberal leaderships that left Canada suffering and making deep cuts to public services to recover.

        • I agree! All we can do is hope that Justin is aware of the realities and that campaigning with promises of any deficit was a signal of his willingness to spend as needed in support of the public good if he gets in office.

          That small act, promising a deficit in today’s world, it doesn’t matter what country, was a brave gamble, truly swimming against the current.

          If he was just playing games, the Liberals will be back were they were in 2011 when 2019 rolls around.

    • I very much doubt electoral reform is going to happen now with a Liberal majority. If they had only won a minority there would have been much more incentive for them to form a coalition with NDP/Green and keep their promise.

    • Yup, my feelings too. My social media feeds were full of people voting “strategically”. I thought about it, got to the polls and I just could not do it (voted for the NDP candidate I really wanted to vote for). A liberal candidate won in my riding by a landslide, anyway.

    • Oh yeah, the memes have been amazing. I suck at embedding photos, so I’m not even going to try, but the one of Jose Bautista bat-flipping Harper makes me smile every time I see it, and I’m not even a baseball fan.

  6. I wouldn’t say Trudeau ran on a pro-choice platform. He was targeted by those creeps who do graphic flyers, but technically all candidates for pm were pro-choice, so it’s not really part of the discourse in that way. Not to say there aren’t anti-choicers doing their best to bring it back into federal politics, but it’s definitely not the same as you guys have it down south.

    It’s like saying he ran on a pro-milk platform. Most people take milk for granted as a non-issue, but there are a few tens of thousands of vegans who think we should all be talking about it. Doesn’t make it a platform.

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